How you feel about the past is based COMPLETELY on your memories of your experiences.

How do you handle painful emotional memories of your experiences: Suppressing, Forgetting, or Forgiving?


James J. Gross is a psychologist best known for his research in emotion and emotion regulation. He is a professor at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory.

Research has shown that suppressing your emotions pretty well shuts down communication within a relationship. Let’s chat about what the findings from one study might mean for your relationship. James Gross, a scientist who studies emotion, found that when we try to suppress emotion, this is what happens:

  • It’s very hard to do – basically it doesn’t work. We have to work very hard to shut an emotion down once it is up and running, and in the process, we often get more agitated and tense. This is especially true in close relationships when the trigger for the emotion, the other person, is still there giving us signals that get us all fired up.
  • Emotion doesn’t stay inside our skin. When we try to shut feelings off, the people we are relating to also get more and more tense.


You have probably heard the recommendation forgive and forget. We will look at the forget part and get to forgive later.

We don’t just will ourselves to forget something. Tell yourself I am NOT going to think about “pink elephants” and I bet the thought of “pink elephants” will pop into your mind. This gives us an insight into the workings of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind does not compute terms of negation. It takes the choice I am NOT going to think about “pink elephants” and reads it as I am going to think about “pink elephants”.

The only way we forget memories of anything is if mental disease takes the memory from us.


Forgiveness is not deleting or erasing; it is a change in the mental file folder where the memory of your experience resides. It is practicing the art of “REMEMBERING DIFFERENTLY”.

There is an inverse relationship between unforgiveness and life satisfaction.

“Psychologist Everett Worthington has spent his career studying FORGIVENESS.


he became interested in the relationship between forgiveness and other virtues, such as justice, humility, mercy, and self-control.” Quote from website below

I recommend the website to everyone; traverse the whole website and it can change your life…Russ